Signing Contract

By Deborah Petito, Esq.

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has revised and issued a new I-9 Form effective November 14, 2016. Employers are required to have every new employee fill out Section 1 of the I-9 Form on their first day of hire and Section 2 of the I-9 Form within three (3) days of their hire.  Employers must retain I-9 Forms while the employee is employed and for at least one year after the employee leaves the employer.  Applicants should not be requested to fill out an I-9 Form until they have been offered employment.  Employers can be penalized if they fail to have employees fill out I-9 Forms and if they fail to retain the completed I-9 Forms.  Employers can also be penalized for failing to properly fill out the I-9 Form.  The form can be filled out in hard copy or on the computer and printed.

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees because of their immigration status. Employers should ensure that all employees are required to fill out an I-9 Form and should carefully review each form to ensure it is properly and fully completed.  Employers can ask to see and copy documents which support an employee’s right to work in the United States.  The best practice is to copy those documents and maintain them with the I-9 Form.

Employers are subject to audit and should keep I-9 Forms in a file separate from employee personnel files. The file containing the I-9 Forms can then be handed to the government agent for review and there is no reason to review the employees’ personnel files.

Employers are required to begin using the new I-9 Form on January 22, 2017. Employers should make sure they review the instructions and other documents available from USCIS so that they understand their obligations: www.uscis.gov/i-9.


Thank you for joining us on CIarkTalk! We look forward to seeing you again on this forum.  Please note that views expressed in the above blog post do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to substitute the need for an attorney to represent your interests relating to the subject matter covered by the blog.  If you have any questions about the new I-9 form, please feel free to contact our Labor & Employment attorneys Deborah Petito by email at dpetito@clartktrev.com or Leonard Brazil at lbrazil@clarktrev.com or telephonically by calling the author at (213) 341-1359.

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